Kenny Miller has vowed to hold back the hands of time in order to shoot Dundee up the Premiership table.
Miller looked a decade younger that his 38 years – he turns 39 two days before Christmas – as he netted a hat-trick in the Dark Blues’ 4-0 victory over Hamilton Accies at Dens on Wednesday night.
It was a virtuoso performance from the veteran frontman, who last treble came when wearing a Rangers jersey against Dumbarton on January 2, 2016.
“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” That observation – credited to American literary great Mark Twain – is tailor-made for Miller.
He is determined to keep going and going, and that is good news for Dundee.
The Dark Blues captain said: “I don’t want to give in to time.
“I feel great.
“I train as hard as I can every day and I try not to take too many days off.
“If you do take time off I think you are starting to admit you are not capable.
“For me, at the minute, I am enjoying playing football.
“Long may it continue.”
As for his treble against the Accies, Miller said: “The last one was Dumbarton away when we (Rangers) were in the Championship.
“It was nice to get my first goal for the club a couple of weeks ago and then score against Hibs.
“To get a hat-trick is pleasing but it was all about the result.
“I am delighted for the lads.
“We also got the clean sheet and we defended well because we were down to 10 men for the last six or seven minutes.
“I felt this result was coming and it just gets us that bit closer and into the mix.
“It is an accumulation of all the hard work we have put in since the manager has come in over the last six or seven weeks.”
The victory over Accies was welcome and timely, considering the Dark Blues’ December schedule.
They welcome Rangers to Dens on Sunday, travel to Kilmarnock on the 15th, face Aberdeen at Pittodrie three days after that, head to Celtic Park on the 22nd, host Livingston on Boxing Day and then finish the month off with a home match against St Johnstone on the 29th.
Miller believes they should be going forward into that frenetic fixture schedule with some confidence after extending their unbeaten run to three games.
The former Scotland international said: “It is a big month and there are a lot of points to be played for.
“We have a really tough run of fixtures but we are going into them with a bit of confidence and belief.
“We know if we hit the levels of recent games – I’m talking about work ethic and togetherness, defending and attacking as a team – then we will be more than competitive in the games against the teams who are higher up the league.”
The first target is victory over Miller’s former club on Sunday and he thinks his new team has a chance of taking three points.
He said: “If we play like that and carry a bit of luck then there is no reason why we can’t.
“I have played up here (for Rangers) for the last two years and been beaten and there is no reason why we can’t go into the game full of confidence.
“It will be a tough game because they are a good team.
“They had a disappointing result at home (they lost 1-0 to Aberdeen on Wednesday) and they will be hurting.
“I am sure the manager (Steven Gerrard) will be looking for a response.
“At big clubs, when you have a negative result, you need to respond and we need to be prepared for that response and to match it head on.
“We can take a lot of heart and confidence from our last three games.
“I just want to maintain my form and to help the team’s good run.
“I want to get more goals and for the team to keep getting results and to climb the table.
“I really believe we are getting better and we will climb the league.”